Vasyl Lomachenko knows what he’s up against on Saturday, facing the much bigger Devin Haney, who he acknowledges as having an outstanding jab, speed, mobility, and size.
Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) will need to download information quickly on Saturday to figure out the undisputed lightweight champion Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) because he can’t afford to start slowly like he did against Jamaine Ortiz and Teofimo Lopez, and expect to rally to win in the second half.
What Lomachenko has going for him in this fight is that he’s facing a fighter with a rather simple one-dimensional fighting style. There’s no mystery in what Haney does because he fights the same way every time. He jabs, throws single shots, and then ties up his smaller opponents to keep them from getting their shots off.
When the referee breaks him, Haney repeats the process. The only variation to Haney’s fighting style is when he roughs up his opponent in the clinch by clubbing them with shots they least expect
“Yes, but we have different styles, and as you understand boxing and you remember this fight, it was a close fight, it was very hard for Haney, but we have very different styles with JoJo Diaz. That’s why I think it’s going to be more interesting,” said Vasyl Lomachenko to the media when asked if he watched Devin Haney’s fight against southpaw Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz, who gave him trouble in 2021.
“I have only one head on my body and that’s why I care about my defense and my head. I do not want to take a punch,” said Lomachenko when asked if he’d be willing to take shots in order to land against Haney.
“It’s not personal. You have to understand. Four years ago, he was a top boxer, he was a good boxer, but he was without a belt. My goal was four belts. I had three belts and at that moment, I needed one more belt and it was the IBF and [Teofimo] Lopez had this belt. That’s why we organized this fight with Lopez.
“We can’t just organize with this guy [Haney] because he wanted this fight [four years ago]. He wasn’t in my plans because my dream was four belts. After that, if but it’s just talk. If I had four belts and he was a contender, then, of course, no problem.
“We’ll see, Everything can happen in boxing, everything,” said Lomachenko when told that some people in Mexico believe he’ll knockout Haney on Saturday.
“He’s smart, he’s fast, and he works very, very good on his feet. His defense is good too, and of course, reach. That’s why this fight will not be easy. That’s why this fight will be very, very hard for both of us.
“I don’t want to compare myself to these greats. I just want to bring something interesting in boxing, something high-level skill. This is what I think I do, and I still do. I think so,” said Lomachenko.